Monday, July 7, 2014

Famous Crab Cakes

We caught a bunch of fresh crab.  I can't tell you where, because that's what secretive fisherman always tell you when you ask where they got their haul. I'd have to kill you, and all that.
We caught and ate, and ate, and ate fresh cracked crab on the dock, with some seasonal 4th of July rain and plenty of good friends, family and wine. Still we came home with five half crabs, so with a little sweet talking finaggling, I was able to talk my hubby into going outside and shelling the rest.
While he was hard at work, I spent the next couple minutes searching for recipes. Actually, I only searched for ONE.  I knew just the one too.  Seattle's Dahlia Lounge restaurant's crab cakes... and I found this.  While the recipe I found had lots of typo's, I felt it had the authentic elements.  I'm glad I tried it.  
My biggest complaint with crab cakes elsewhere (and believe me, I DO crab about them..usually say "why did I order these? When will I learn?") is that they are nothing more than mushy, crab "loaf" with no textures or meaty, crabby goodness. Ick.  These are yummy, flavorful yumminess with a focus on hunks of crab.

A couple of bits of advice...
  • Plan ahead, I do recommend doing this the day before you make them.  We ate them two nights in a row, once chilled, and once cooked immediately.  The chilled ones stay together better. 
  • Mix it GENTLY... you want to leave as many whole chunks of leg meat as possible.

Makes 7-10 crab cakes

5-6 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used 8 sourdough slices)
3/4 cup chopped Parsley, divided into two

Sauce to mix into the crab cake mixture:
1 Egg yolk
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme (fresh is good too)
1/2 teaspoon Celery seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
5 tablespoon Olive oil

1 lb. fresh Dungeness crab meat
1/4 cup chopped Onion
1/2 cup chopped Red bell pepper
6 tablespoons Butter

Tear up bread and pulse in a food processor to make bread crumbs (5-6 cups, and you may have leftovers). Remove to a flat shallow container and mix with 1/2 cup chopped parsley.
I used my food processor to chop the parsley.
In food processor, combine egg yolk, lemon juice, worcestershire, tabasco, mustard, paprika, thyme, celery seed, and black pepper. Pulse to combine.
With motor running, slowly add olive oil until mixture emulsifies and forms a mayonnaise. Remove and refrigerate.

Place crab meat in a cheese cloth and squeeze out excess liquid. Place onion and peppers in a sieve and squeeze out excess liquid.
In a large bowl, combine remaining half the chopped parsley, chopped onion and peppers. Add chilled mayonnaise mixture and crab meat. Mix gently. Add one cup of bread crumbs and mix lightly.
I used an ice cream scoop to make, and shape, perfect patties.

Gently form 7-10 patties and roll in remaining bread crumbs. Place patties in shallow pan, cover with plastic, and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Using a cast iron skillet, or a large nonstick ovenproof pan over medium heat and melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Place crab cakes gently in pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Without flipping, place the pan in the oven. Cook for 9-10 minutes, turn over and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately.

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